Before & After: Boat

I took this photograph of an upturned boat at Watson’s Bay, near Sydney. It was a bit of a snatched shot and while the subject is interesting, it’s a little frustrating because I didn’t capture the entire boat, cutting off the prow (at the bottom of the image) and the sides. Furthermore, the horizon (waterline) isn’t straight and the colours are rather bleached – partly because it’s a pretty weatherbeaten vessel in the first place and also because it was taken around noon – so I was probably on my way to lunch, which probably explains why it was a snatched shot.


Boat before


Boat after

I cropped out most of the boat, the shoreline and the surrounding sand, and also added a light Vignette. This brought the real interest, the bottom of the boat, and especially the ‘trident’ effect of the struts, properly to the fore.

This produced an almost abstract feel, which was reinforced largely by reducing the Luminance and modestly tweaking the Saturation of the key colours, blue and orange

ABFriday 19 February 2016






Weather has come around again for Cee’s Black & White Photo Challenge. Last time I put up a picture of freezing fog close to home, but on this occasion here is an image taken on the other side of the world, in the Hunter Valley in Australia.


Cee’s Black & White Photo Challenge: Weather

Thursday Doors: Chansigaud

Back closer to home for this week’s Thursday Doors. About a mile up the track from here at Tranquility Base, at the junction with what is somewhat optimistically called ‘the main road’, is a working sheep farm called Chansigaud. The building in this image is now used for storage but it was formerly the family home.

The door at the foot of the external staircase (quite a common feature around here: we used to have one ourselves) is remarkably tatty – and not very draught-proof.


Thursday Doors 18 February 2016

Colour basics

Cee’s Composition Challenge has now moved on to colour basics (I’m sorry; I just can’t bring myself to spell colour without the ‘u’), beginning with the difference between the warm and cool ends of the spectrum.


To begin with, two cool images from the United Arab Emirates; on the left, a mosaic ceiling panel from Wafi Mall in Dubai, while on the right is part of the landmark blue glass-plated façade  of the Bainunah Hilton on the Corniche in Abu Dhabi.


By contrast, two notably warmer images: on the left, my grandson crawling through a brightly coloured tunnel in a childrens’ playground in Abu Dhabi. On the right a bunch of flowers from a table in the music room of Chateau d’Amboise.

Finally, two pictures, one warm and one cool. These were taken at the entrance to a cafe in a shopping mall near Circular Quay in Sydney. They are two individual images, as shot, illustrating that the same view of the same subject could be either warm or cool, depending on the light.

Cee’s Compose Yourself Challenge: Color (sic) Basics

Weekly Photo Challenge: Life Imitates Art

Claude Monet painted over 250 pictures of waterlilies, mostly those found in his garden at Giverny and most famously those which also included a view of the Japanese bridge. When visiting Giverny, it’s quite something to recognise a vista from one of Monet’s paintings and realise you’re standing in the same spot he must have done with his easel over a hundred years ago.

waterlilies2 copy

Monet himself, of course, did it better; this version is now in the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York:


Weekly Photo Challenge: Life Imitates Art

Before & After: Butterfly

Butterflies can make for great images, but they’re not the most co-operative of subjects: have you ever tried to get one to sign a model release form?

Last summer I spent a merry, if sometimes frustrating, couple of hours on a sunny afternoon trying to get some worthwhile photographs of the butterflies that were feasting on one of our buddleias. Obviously, I was using my longest lens, but as that\s only 200mm I couldn’t get as close as I might have wished.


Butterfly before

As it stands, this isn’t much of a photograph but there was the germ of something more interesting in there, although it needed a fair bit of post-processing to tease it out.


Butterfly after

The first step was to crop out most of the background. Once I’d focused in on the butterfly it seemed clear that rotating the image would make it more arresting and give a more pleasing composition. I also flipped it so that the butterfly was facing upwards.

After that, it was a matter of adjusting various sliders to give more ‘punch’ not only to the overall image but also the individual colours, where I altered Luminance rather than Hue. A final touch of Sharpening and there you have it.

ABFriday 12 February 2016

Ponies in the snow

These Shetland ponies used to be found in a field about a quarter of a mile from our place. The snow (it was a couple of years ago) lends itself well to the monochrome version.


Cee’s Black & White Photo Challenge: Pets